CHICAGO -- The 2009 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, May 16-19 at McCormick Place in Chicago, will provide attendees with the concrete tools needed to increase their sustainability efforts.
"We recognize the numerous opportunities in this area, and are presenting them to attendees at this year's NRA Show. There is a lot of information out there for busy restaurateurs to sort through, so we focused a series of our more than 65 free education sessions on sustainability to help address the discussion," said Lorna Donatone, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2009 and President, School Services, at Sodexo Inc.
NRA research shows that environmentally sustainable practices are important to today's consumers. Forty-four percent say they are likely to make a restaurant choice based on a restaurant's efforts to conserve energy and water, and six out of 10 say they are more likely to visit a restaurant that offers food grown in an organic or environmentally friendly way.
The association created a special series of education sessions at this year's NRA Show for attendees looking for information and tips. Sessions include:
  • Join the Green Restaurant Revolution — Monday, May 18, 12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. — Ted Turner and George McKerrow, co-founders of Ted's Montana Grill will host a discussion about their top-down initiative creating a green and sustainable restaurant chain. The session will be moderated by Chris Koetke, dean of The School of Culinary Arts, Kendall College.
  • Building Green: Subway's Eco-Store  Saturday, May 16, 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. — Hear the results of Subway's Eco-Store test model from Brad Davis, equipment manager, IPC Subway, and Tina Fitzgerald, director of produce and social responsibility, IPC Subway. The session will be moderated by Jeffrey Clark, consultant to US EPA's ENERGY STAR program.
  • Save Water, Save Money — Sunday, May 17, 10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m. — The session will provide an overview of all the ways restaurant operators can lower water utility bills, presented by Don Fisher of Fisher-Nickel Inc., and Food Service Technology Center, and Jeffrey Clark, ICF International and the EPA's WaterSense program. Christopher Moyer, manager of National Restaurant Association Conserve: Solutions for Sustainability, will moderate the session and provide an overview of the association's initiative.
  • The Brand Impact of Going Green — Monday, May 18, 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. — Moderated by Rudy Miick, FCSI, Miick & Associates, this panel will include: Kathleen Seelye, FFCSI, LEEDS, managing partner, Ricca Newmark Design; and Jeff Harvey, president & CEO, Burgerville. Presented in cooperation with Foodservice Consultants Society International.

The NRA launched its Conserve: Solutions for Sustainability initiative and Web site more than a year ago to encourage and assist restaurant operators looking to increase their environmental efforts.

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